National: Concrete Measures Needed to Stop Fracking Despite Government Promises. Foreign Company Drills Oil in Mexico for First Time in 80 Years.

September 2, 2019

Fracking@xataka

On August 27th, the Mexican Alliance against Fracking, composed of more than 40 civil organizations, stressed that, despite the commitment of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) to stop the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract hydrocarbons in the country, not enough has been done to achieve this. It pointed out that the Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) Business Plan, published in July, indicates that fracking will continue to be used.

For his part, Manuel Llano of the Carto Critica organization noted that “an absolute continuity in the regulatory framework that allows hydraulic fractures in the country is maintained, without any action implemented by the Executive that is within the meaning of the President’s words.”

On another note, AMLO publicly thanked the Italian company Eni, which started to extract oil from the Gulf of Mexico a few months ago, for “trusting in Mexico.” Eni is the first foreign company to do so in 80 years. These activities were possible thanks to the energy reform bill, promoted by the government of Enrique Peña Nieto and criticized by AMLO.

For more information in Spanish: 

Más de 40 ONGs exhiben el uso de fracking con AMLO; Pemex, Sener, CNH y ASEA “no tienen estrategia” Sin Embargo, 27 de agosto de 2019.

AMLO agradece a la primera empresa extranjera en extraer petróleo en 80 años Forbes México, 28 de agosto de 2019.

AMLO ha incumplido compromiso de frenar el fracking, exhiben más de 40 ONG’s Espejo, 28 de agosto de 2019.

Más de ocho mil pozos usan fracking para extraer recursos en México Vanguardia, 28 de agosto de 2019.

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Fracking or not in Mexico? (February 13, 2019)

National: Mexican Alliance against Fracking Urges President Elect to Legally Stop the Activity (August 19, 2018)

Pronunciamiento de la Alianza Mexicana contra el Fracking con respecto a declaraciones recientes de Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMCF, 7 de agosto de 2018)

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Oaxaca: Indigenous Communities Celebrate “Guelaguetza” against Extractivism

July 29, 2019

Guela1

On July 23rd, 2019, several Zapotec communities of the Central Valleys, members of the “Non-Mining Front, for a Future of All”, organized an alternative Guelaguetza in San Martin de los Cansecos, Oaxaca. This was the first Guelaguetza of the Peoples of Oaxaca against mining that began with a traditional ritual of gratitude to Mother Earth.

“What they are looking for in this event is to recover the essence of the Cerro Mondays Festival, where with cooperation, love of neighbor and an attitude of sharing nature and life, they seek to reinforce the social fabric that unite us as indigenous communities.”

Marcos Leyva Madrid of the organization Services for Alternative Education (Educa in its Spanish acronym) mentioned that during the event “the towns and communities affected by mining projects and concessions celebrate life, autonomy, resistance processes and community alternatives that they are exercising within their territories.”

Guela2Photo @ SIPAZ

People and agricultural authorities from nine municipalities participated in the alternative Guelaguetza. The program included a forum, spaces for reflection for the communities about the defense of their lands against extractivism, and there were also cultural spaces.

It should be remembered that there are more than three hundred mining concessions in Oaxaca, which represent five percent of the state territory. Communities and civil organizations attribute damage to the environment and the social fabric of the communities to the extractivist model, among other consequences. In addition, they highlight the criminalization of defenders of the land, by extractive companies and the government, with the aim of protecting their economic interests.

According to the magazine Proceso, the Cuzcatlan mining company which is three kilometers away in San Jose del Progreso, also organized a Guelaguetza to “justify that it promotes traditions, gives employment and generates development.” The company is related to the Canadian company Fortuna Silver Mines.

For more information in Spanish:

Celebran comunidades indígenas la Guelaguetza antiminera en Oaxaca (EDUCA, 23 de julio de 2019)

Realizan en Valles Centrales la primera Guelaguetza de los Pueblos de Oaxaca contra la Minería (Proceso, 22 de julio de 2019)

Con Guelaguetza alternativa, protestan en Oaxaca contra mineras (La Jornada, 22 de julio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: “Negamos el desarrollo que nos niega a nosotros”: Concluye Tercer Encuentro Estatal de Pueblos, Comunidades y Organizaciones “Aquí Decidimos Sí a la Vida No a la Minería” (May 22nd, 2019)

Oaxaca: Cabildo municipal anuncia el territorio de Magdalena Ocotlán prohibido para minería (April 11th, 2019)

National: No Cancellations but No More Mining Concessions in Mexico – AMLO (March 24, 2019)


National/Chiapas: Forums on Process of Free, Prior and Informed Consultation for Constitutional and Legal Reform of Rights of Indigenous and Afro-Mexican Peoples Go Ahead

July 29, 2019

Forums.pngPhoto @ INPI

On July 20th and 21st, in the framework of the Free, Prior and Informed Consultation Process for the Constitutional and Legal Reform on the Rights of Indigenous and Afro-Mexican Peoples, several regional consultation forums were held in the territory of Chiapas.

In San Cristobal de Las Casas, Copainala, Palenque, Ocosingo and Comitan de Domínguez “the voices of the Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Totonaco, Chinanteco, Ch’ol, Zoque, Lacandon, Chuj, Maya, Q’eqchi’ and of the indigenous migrant population settled in the Highlands, North and Lacandon Jungle regions came together”, the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI in its Spanish acronym) said.

During his participation in the forum in San Cristobal de Las Casas, the indigenous poet Irma Pineda, member of the Committee of Experts and representative of the indigenous peoples before the United Nations, mentioned that “the peoples themselves must decide what they want from their culture and life forms. We are in a historical moment and we must make our voices resonate in the laws.”

One of the approaches in which the voices of the participants in Chiapas coincided was that “their autonomy and free self-determination to be governed under their own organizational systems be respected (…) that their full right to use and exploitation of their lands, territory and natural resources be recognized in the Constitution.” These are requirements that were raised by other peoples of the nation in previous weeks.

In Copainala, they highlighted “the requirement to modify Article 27 of the Constitution to recognize full ownership over their lands and territories; in addition, guarantee the participation of translators and interpreters in government institutions to guarantee access to justice in their own languages.”

In Ocosingo they asked for “the laws to be modified and the judicial and criminal system to be harmonized to recognize their regulatory systems, as well as access to justice while respecting their human rights. The presence of experts and speakers of indigenous languages ​​in the corresponding institutions is considered fundamental to improve legal procedures.” The women asked for the right to land tenure.

From the beginning, the INPI free consultation process was criticized by different organizations and individuals. They criticized “that there was no participation of the players consulted in its elaboration (…) the rush with which the consultation was made (…) that the assemblies [of the communities and peoples] had not been taken into account.”

For more information in Spanish:

Cumplimiento de los Acuerdos de San Andrés, asignatura pendiente del Gobierno de México: Regino Montes. (Instituto Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas, 21 de julio de 2019)

Más de dos mil autoridades y representantes indígenas de Oaxaca participan en foro de consulta para reforma constitucional (Instituto Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas, 13 de julio de 2019)

Se cumplirán acuerdos de San Andrés: INPI (La Jornada, 23 de julio de 2019)

Acerca de la Consulta para el proceso de reforma constitucional sobre derechos de los pueblos indígenas y afromexicanos (La Jornada, 14 de julio de 2019)

Reprograman autoridades indígenas de la Sierra Juárez mesa “Territorio” de consulta del INPI (EDUCA, 19 de julio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Process of “Free, Prior and Informed Consultation” on Constitutional and Legal Reform of Rights of Indigenous and Afro-Mexican Peoples Begins (June 27, 2019)

National/International: UN Special Rapporteur for Indigenous Peoples Calls on AMLO Government to Comply with International Standards on Indigenous Consultation for Megaprojects in their Territories, March 19th, 2019

Oaxaca/National: Federal Government Presents National Program for Indigenous Peoples December 28th 2018

National/International: UN Special Rapporteur on Rights of Indigenous Peoples Presents Report in Mexico City One Year after her Visit (October 22nd, 2018)

Oaxaca/National: Federal Government Presents National Program for Indigenous Peoples (January 14, 2019)

Chiapas: 18 años years after the signing of the San Andrés Accords on Indigenous Rights and Culture, these continue not to be recognized by the State (March 1, 2014)

Chiapas: new governor calls for observance of San Andrés Accords (January 8, 2013)

La ONU aprueba la Declaración de los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas (September 13, 2007)


Chiapas: AMLO Announces Modernization of SCLC – Palenque Highway

July 14, 2019

AMLOPhoto @ Tabasco Hoy

On July 6th, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced the modernization of the San Cristobal de Las Casas – Palenque highway at a public meeting in Ocosingo during a work tour.

He mentioned “we are going to look for nothing more than to modernize it, to expand it” which means the cancellation of the infrastructure work of a new super highway; an old plan that for years received a strong rejection, especially by the Movement in Defense of Life and the Territory (MODEVITE in its Spanish acronym).

In response to the cancellation, the Business Center of Chiapas (CECH in its Spanish acronym) “asked the state and federal governments to make all the pertinent considerations before truncating a work whose need has been demonstrated over the years.”

For more information in Spanish:

En Ocosingo, presidente López Obrador anuncia ampliación de carretera Palenque-San Cristóbal (Presidencia de la República, 7 de julio de 2019)

“Llegó la hora de invertir en sureste de México”, dice AMLO (Milenio, 6 de julio de 2019)

Pide Cech reconsiderar posible cancelación de autopista SCLC-Palenque (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 10 de julio de 2019)

8 municipios se unen y rechazan construcción de carretera San Cristóbal de las Casas-Palenque (Chiapas Paralelo, 29 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Expresiones de solidaridad y preocupación ante los hostigamientos a integrantes del CEDIAC y de la Misión Jesuita de Bachajón (20 de junio de 2019)

Chiapas: Agentes municipales de Chilón toman acciones para socavar las posibilidades de pasar a un sistema por Usos y Costumbres. (11 de junio de 2019)

Chiapas: Modevite ratifica su rechazo a la construcción de la super carretera entre San Cristóbal de las Casas y Palenque (2 de mayo de 2019) Chiapas: New meeting in Los Llanos against the planned SCLC-Palenque highway (October 25, 2014)

 


National/International: “Government Should Halt Abuses of Public and Private Companies”: Civil Society Focal Group on Companies and Human Rights

July 12, 2019

CompaniesPhoto @ Animal Politico

On July 4th, 2019, the Civil Society Focal Group of on Companies and Human Rights, which is made up of different national and international organizations, among others, Oxfam Mexico and Services and Consultancy for Peace (SERAPAZ in its Spanish acronym), published a statement in which it demands that the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) “attends to human rights violations committed by companies” in Mexico.

It specifies that given the human rights crisis and omnipresent impunity in the country, the government has the obligation to “act with consistency and ensure respect for individual and collective guarantees also in their commitment to megaprojects and all collaboration agreements it makes with large Mexican and foreign companies.”

The Group identifies as a fundamental point that the recommendations of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights are respected, in addition to international agreements, such as the Escuazu Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, be ratified and put into action. Manifesting that “the balance between development projects and respect for the environment, the rights of indigenous peoples over their territories and natural commons is necessary, particularly as regards megaprojects such as the Dos Bocas Refinery, the Maya Train and the Trans-isthmus corridor, roads and dams, among others, without neglecting campesino communities and respect for labor and union rights.”

They conclude that government strategies, such as the National Human Rights Program, should contemplate “a discussion on the responsibility of companies in the matter”, in addition to promoting solid public policies incorporating a human rights approach. This is necessary so that the ten billion dollars of foreign direct investment entering the country are applied coherently between economic interests and the aforementioned rights.

For more information in Spanish:

México: Grupo Focal de Empresas y Derechos Humanos recuerda al gobierno que está pendiente atender a violaciones de derechos humanos cometidos por empresas (Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, 4 de julio de 2019)

Atender violaciones a derechos humanos cometidas por empresas, otra tarea pendiente de la 4T (Comunicado del Grupo Focal en CEMDA, 4 de julio de 2019)

Gurría pide congruencia a AMLO en megaproyectos; “no tiene autoridad moral”, le responde (El Sol de México, 3 de mayo de 2019)

Ante los megaproyectos, el mega-reproche: AMLO no cumple (Proceso, 9 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Cuarto aniversario del Frente Popular en Defensa del Soconusno en Acacoyagua (June 24th, 2019)

Oaxaca: Es publicado el decreto del decreto del Corredor Corredor Interoceánico del Istmo de Tehuantepec; se movilizan para detener su instrumentación (June 15th, 2019)

Mexico: Consultations on Maya Train and Nine “Priority” Projects of New Government (December 13, 2018)


Chiapas/Tabasco: Ecologist Jose Luis Alvarez Flores Murdered

June 17, 2019

c3adndice

@Regeneración

On June 10th, the Tabasco ecologist Jose Luis Alvarez Flores was found murdered, near Calatraba ejido, municipality of Palenque, in Chiapas. The 64-year-old was a defender of the howler (Saragauto) monkey sanctuary and the Usumacinta River. His body had five bullet wounds and threatening messages were found next to it on cardboard against his family and ecologists.

Since 2012, Alvarez Flores was in charge of the Saraguato Environmental Management Unit (UMA) and at various times made accusations about the illegal extraction of sand and gravel from the Usumacinta River. As a result, he requested protection measures from the government but never received them.

Miguel Perez, president of the Tabasco Environmental Management Units, declared after the events: “We condemn this cowardly murder, we demand justice, protection for his family and two other defenders who were threatened.” According to figures from Global Witness, at least 125 environmentalists were killed in Mexico in the last decade.

Among possible contextual elements, Minuta de EDUCA recalls that, “the Usumacinta River is the largest river in Mexico and if the Maya Train project is materialized, it would be the main source of extraction of stone for the construction of this megaproject questioned by environmentalists.”

For more information in Spanish:

Asesinan a José Luis Álvarez, ambientalista que luchaba por el mono saraguato (Animal Político, 11 de junio de 2019)

José Luis Álvarez, ecologista y defensor del santuario del mono saraguato, es asesinado (Sin Embargo, 11 de junio de 2019)

Asesinan al ecologista mexicano José Luis Álvarez (Desinformémonos, 11 de junio de 2019)

Asesinan a José Luis Álvarez, ambientalista en Tabasco (Regeneración, 11 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Two Members of Movement for Welfare, Peace and Common Good of Amatan and Independent Revolutionary Campesino Movement Murdered (January 28, 2019)

Chiapas: Human Rights Defender Sinar Corzo Esquinca Murdered (January 14, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)


Guerrero: 16 CRAC PC and CECOP Prisoners Released

June 17, 2019
rednoticias

@Red Noticias

On June 7th, the 16 members of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP in its Spanish acronym) and the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities-Community Police (CRAC-PC in its Spanish acronym) were declared innocent. They had been arrested on January 7th, 2018, following violence in La Concepcion, in the rural area of ​​Acapulco, where six civilians and five community policemen were killed, The first thirteen were released on the same day, including the spokesman and leader of the CECOP, Marco Antonio Suastegui Muñoz. It is expected that the others will leave in the coming days.

In an interview with reporters, the lawyer of La Montaña, Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of, Vidulfo Rosales Sierra said that the judges ruled in favor, since the Public Prosecutor’s Office could not verify the full responsibility of the detainees. He stressed that the court expressed “its concerns about these extremely inadequate investigations, where there was torture, evidence was extracted illegally, where they were also in the Office of the Prosecutor for many days and the defense was not allowed to enter to speak with them, and in all that time, illegal evidence was obtained.”

Given the risk of fresh confrontation between the inhabitants of La Concepcion and the people who will be released, Vidulfo Rosales called for a reconciliation and pacification path that “is not only of the parties, but must also come from the State”, recognizing that there are many old grievances and disputes that exist in the area.

On the same day, in Chilpancingo, members of the Movement for the Liberation of the Political Prisoners of Guerrero were evicted by riot police when they blocked the Sol highway between Mexico and Acapulco precisely to demand the release of the prisoners who were innocent.

For more information in Spanish:

Liberan a comunitarios y miembros del Cecop (La Jornada, 7 de junio de 2019)

Liberaron a 16 defensores del agua en Guerrero (Regeneración, 7 de junio de 2019)

Dictan libertad absolutoria a los 16 detenidos de la CRAC-PC y CECOP (Quadratin, 7 e de junio de 2019)


Excarcelan a 13 opositores a La Parota (La Jornada, 8 de junio de 2019)

Policías desalojan a manifestantes de la Autopista del Sol (Proceso, 7 de junio de 2019)

Bloquea Movimiento por Libertad de Presos Políticos la Autopista del Sol (Quadratin, 7 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Urgent Action “No Dam, No Prisoners”, Demands Release of 16 Indigenous CECOP Members (March 14, 2019)

Guerrero/International: MEPs and International Organizations Express Concern over Criminalization of CECOP Members (February 13, 2019)

Guerrero: national and international organizations visit prisoners of the CECOP and the CRAC-PC (October 10, 2018)